Among the many laws concerning Texas breweries this past year, Bill 639 is one that craft brewers are not pleased about. This law takes away brewers’ ability to sell their distribution rights while leaving distributors to do as they please. Dallas News talks about how this law affects brewers and their ability to distribute their beers in more depth.
With the explosion of craft breweries in DFW, it was only a matter of time. Allen is getting its first craft brewery dubbed Nine Brand Brewing Co. Only a matter of time before we get to try it!
If you go to almost any brewery (especially in the DFW area), you’ll most likely see a trailer or pallet with wet, used grain on it. Breweries usually sell this grain to local farmers to use as feed. This makes the disposal of the grain easy for the breweries and gives the local farmers cheap feed for their animals. It’s the norm. That may be changing, though.
The Federal Drug Administration has proposed a new act called the Food Safety Modernization Act. This proposal would require brewers to dry and package the grain if it were going to leave the brewery. It would also prevent human contact with the grain. Their reasoning is that it would help limit unwanted exposure to the grain that could potentially harm animals and, in turn, humans that may consume those animals. In theory, that would be good. There’s a downside for brewers, though.
For beer companies, especially small ones, cost the is key. They want to minimize their operating costs to they can lower the costs for the consumers. Having to dry and package grain for sale to farmers could add as much as $10 per barrel of beer. Although it may not seem like much, these small breweries need every penny they can keep. If they were to increase the costs to farmers for the grain, the farmers would most likely find somewhere else to get the feed from. It’s a tough line that they’d have to walk. They have no choice but to fight back.
The North Texas Brewers Guild, which 23 North Texas breweries are a part of, is fighting against the regulations. They submitted a request to the FDA for the exemption of breweries from this proposed law. They cited the reliability of food sources for local farmers and the economic impact the act could have. They also encouraged the other members to submit letters as well. If the act passes without the exemption, it would go into effect next year, and breweries would have to either pay to package their grain for throw it away.
Yesterday at the Hyatt Regency in Denver, Colorado, the Brewers Association handed out awards for the 2014 World Beer Cup. The event, which takes place every two years, featured 4,754 beers from 1,403 breweries in 58 countries.Of the 282 winning beers (94 categories with 3 places in each), 8 were from Texas, and 3 were from the DFW area. Now, you may be thinking that isn’t a big percentage. And if you look strictly at the numbers, you’d be right. 3% from Texas and 1% from North Texas aren’t very high numbers. You have to look at the bigger picture.
First, you have to understand something. The three winners from North Texas were Community Beer Co. (Gold – Witbier), Deep Ellum Brewing Co. (Bronze – 4 Swords Belgian Style Quad), and Rahr and Sons Brewing Co. (Bronze – Stormcloud). These breweries were opened in 2012, 2011, and 2004, respectively. So why’s this important? History. Or lack there of.
Brewing is DFW is relatively new, and opening a new brewery isn’t an easy thing to do. Once the brewer jumps through all the legal hoops, they have to build the brewery, find more staff, and actually brew the beer. Not everyone can do it. And even those who do don’t always succeed. Your beer makes your mark. If it’s not a good beer, you won’t survive. Despite the odds, though, the North Texas brewing scene is flourishing. More and more breweries are opening and succeeding. To have breweries less than 3 years old winning awards in categories with international breweries that have been around for much longer is a great thing. So go out, drink local, and help the DFW breweries hone their skills.
If you’re interested in seeing the rest of the winners, Beer Pulse has a complete list.
Social media is inevitable these days. Facebook and Twitter are used by companies quite a bit to get information out quickly. The question then becomes about who you should be following. This isn’t only to learn information quickly, but to recognize who could help you get information out. Craft and Growler is that for me. They use their twitter to get out information about events and what/how many beers they have (42 currently). They don’t have a blog, but they do provide a wealth of information, and everyone knows information is key.
Wikipedia. From random facts to writing essays, Wikipedia has become a go to website for knowledge and information. Many people used to be very weary of the information that Wikipedia provided. Teachers often deterred students from using it to prevent false knowledge from making its way into papers. If they didn’t follow this instruction, they were often given up by something that wasn’t right and could be tracked back to Wikipedia. Those days are long gone now, though.
Wikipedia includes a vast array of knowledge that is usually correct nowadays. With constant monitoring and use, “facts” that are entered with malicious or joking intent are quickly taken down or replaced with correct information. For instance, for a little bit of time, Jeremy Renner was a velociraptor (see below). That lasted only long enough for people to get screenshots.
Scanning Wikipedia, I found that the page for Franconia Brewing was lacking, to say the least. Not knowing a whole lot about the style or setup of Wikipedia coding, I dove in and decided to help it out some. The changes I made were small, but I’m planning on working on it some more.
When I started, the page only told a little bit about the owner and a little about the when they started bottling beer. First, I added when it opened and when its first batch of beer was produced. Easy enough, you’d think.
For the most part, you’d be right. When you first get to the edit page, it seems like a daunting task. There is a lot of coding information and many things you don’t understand if you haven’t coded before. I do have some coding experience, but not like this. So I dug around a bit. I looked at other pages to see how exactly things were formatted and how to make the correct inline citations. Five minutes later, I had made my first entry. It was only a sentence or two, but it was a start.
So what now? I’m going to try and keep updating it as I can. With school, work, and this blog, it’s going to take some time to get it up to par. But I learned a lot during this process. Wikipedia can be a great tool. Information accessibility is key to developing the world, and the more correct information that is out there, the better off we all are. The downside to this, though, is that almost anyone with a computer and a Wikipedia account can access this information. (There are some pages that require special permissions.) You have to be careful with what you trust, but Wikipedia has come a long way. For the most part, though, it’s a great, historically correct tool.